KALIHI — Na Menehune continued its winning ways.
Moanalua scored on defense and special teams to edge Kailua, 17-14 in the opening round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I playoffs at Edward 'Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Henry Kusunoki Field.
Both teams met earlier on Aug. 11 to open the OIA regular season but trended in opposite directions toward the latter half.
Na Menehune (4-5 overall, 3-4 league) continue to ride a four-game winning streak and advances to the quarterfinals to face top seed Mililani at John Kauinana Stadium.
"Each game we showed a lot of heart and it started with that Aiea game," said two-way player Micah Kim.
"Mentally we're a different team as a whole. The first five weeks were a test but I felt comfortable with what we did. Let's keep it rolling. Coach York, I appreciate that man a whole lot and know what he does there. It won't be an easy task, they're a well-oiled machine and we have to pull out all the stops," said Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu, on the impending matchup against the Trojans.
The Surfriders won handily, 44-0 the first time around and started 3-0 including a non-league game, but lost five of their last six games to end their season at 4-5 overall, 3-4 league.
Both teams combined for 228 yards of net offense and 12 total first downs. Despite the offensive struggles all game from both teams, there were solid defensive performances.
Moanalua wasn't quite prepared for Kailua's physicality, but took it to them this afternoon to hold the Surfriders to 62 net rushing yards, a far cry from the 260 that was posted in the first matchup.
Kim led Na Menehune defense with seven tackles, four were for losses and forced a fumble and Tupu Alualu also recorded seven tackles, one for a loss and a sack.
"We knew our offense was struggling a bit and Kailua has a good defense. They were good at stopping our pass. They scouted us well, but as a defense we had to step up and put up points," said Kim.
Kailua's Alika Teramoto had eight tackles, four were for losses and a sack to lead the defense and Taylor Tagupa added two more sacks.
Ethan Feguis-Tavares scooped up the Samson Rasay's fumble jarred loose by Kim and returned it 82 yards for Na Menehune's first points.
Leighton "Laa" Russell, whose interception was wiped out by a pass interference penalty, made up for it with a 44-yard fumble recovery following Tagupa's strip and sack for a touchdown. Teramoto kicked the PAT to tie the game at 7.
Tre'quan Henderson caught the kick off at the 4, reversed course to evade Kailua defenders to take it to the house for 96 yards 21 seconds later to give Moanalua the lead, 14-7.
"That was huge only because our offense had trouble moving the ball. Tre'quan on the spot worked out very well. I'm glad because it got the momentum going," said Eselu.
The only offensive touchdown of the game came off of Cole Weber's 19-yard touchdown pass to Shane Kalawaia, Jr. to finish a six play, 49-yard drive to tie the game at 14.
Weber, who was making his second straight start, did not return and left in an ambulance at halftime. Raynen Ho-Mook, the third string quarterback, finished the second half with 17 passing yards on 3-of-10 passing.
"It was unfortunate what happened, in terms of our defense worked out in our favor only because they had trouble with their second signal caller. Prayers go to Mr. Weber," said Eselu.
Griffin Motas was 2 of 2 on PATs and kicked a 18-yard field goal for Na Menehunes' go-ahead points.
The Surfriders had decent field position at the Moanalua 30 and 41, but could not do much as it punted and turned it over on downs. Kailua got the ball with 2:04 remaining following a Moanalua punt on their own 24 and gained one first down, but three incompletions gave the ball back to Moanalua who ran out the clock by taking a knee.
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